We have spoken about fall proofing a house and fall proofing a bathroom (which briefly covered fall proofing a shower), but have not gone into depth about fall proofing a shower. When fall proofing a shower, it is important to consider all aspects of risk and by that I mean any area and elderly individual could possibly fall. This includes getting in and out of a shower, the act of showering and drying off when you are finished with your shower. Falls can happen at any of these times and hopefully this quick guide gives you an outline of where to start when looking into fall proofing a shower.
Let’s start with getting into and out of the shower. A lot of houses have steps and bathtubs. These are the most risky types of showers and can lead to falling if not addressed. The first thing we look into is getting rid of the step or the bathtub. Even though it may seem like a big ordeal, getting a new shower installed may not be that expensive and may be covered by insurance. You have to call your insurance provider to find out exactly what is covered. Even though the steps may seem small to us, any step poses a risk, especially when dealing with water.
The second part of fall proofing the shower is to make sure there is a chair or something to sit on while taking the shower. Installing a stable chair is a good idea. With the chair, the client can take their time washing himself or herself. Additionally, installing a movable showerhead is a must. That way the elderly individual can remain seated throughout the duration of the shower. Installing anti-slip material underneath the chair is always a good idea. Once these are done it is important to make sure the drain is sufficient for the amount of water coming out. Water buildup can get in the other parts of the bathroom and can be deleterious.
The last part when fall proofing a shower is the drying off process. We want to make this as safe as possible. When drying off, it is important to have an area to sit somewhere outside of the shower so that time can be taken while drying off. Make sure there are fall-proof mats installed outside of the shower to avoid falls afterwards.
With all of the preventions taken while fall proofing a shower, falls can still happen. This is why we recommend a backup plan. A medical alert device is always a good idea. With a medical alert device you simply press your button if you have an emergency. It is important that the device is water resistant. A lot of accidents happen in the shower and you can never be too prepared.
Our most basic medical alert system; includes both a bracelet and necklace attachment.
Linear PERS Product Page
A mobile medical alert; speak directly to an operator through the wearable device.
eResponder Product Page